Flights of Fancy: Stories, Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children’s Lauretes

This book allowed me to wander through the familiar art of my favorite children’s authors and illustrators. I finished inspired by their methods, their journeys to publication and, of course, the beautiful art.


In a beautiful anthology, ten children’s book greats share stories, poems, pictures, tips, and prompts meant to inspire young readers to create works of their own.

Have you ever sparked the start of a story by playing a game of What if? Is there any value to all that doodling you do? What does being “a sponge” have to do with facing down a blank page? Did you know that pictures can sometimes inspire stories, rather than the other way around? From Quentin Blake’s drawings of fantastical vehicles to Michael Rosen’s inside look at his poetry, from Anthony Browne’s shape game (no need to be an artist to play) to Lauren Child’s look at her creative process, this anthology — whose contributors were all British Children’s Laureates — aims to encourage budding writers and artists to let their imaginations soar. The final spread is a collection of prompts from all the contributors, passing the creative torch to the next generation.

With contributions by:

Malorie Blackman
Quentin Blake
Anthony Browne
Lauren Child
Julia Donaldson
Anne Fine
Michael Morpurgo
Chris Riddell
Michael Rosen
Jacqueline Wilson from Goodreads

An illustration of a huge green bird with polka dots carries art supplies and children who are busy writing and illustrating.


I have a lot of books about writing. Some are formulaic and designed to help me build a book. Others are for inspiration. This has to be one of my favorite recent addition in the inspiration category. I may have no intention of writing or illustrating a children’s book but I couldn’t resist reading this collection of stories from some of the most influential people in children’s lives. I was beyond pleased by the stories they told that shared how they came into their profession, what inspired them to begin their journey and what keeps them connected to their audience.

A children’s laureate is an author or illustrator, originally in the UK, that is chosen every two years to celebrate their outstanding achievements in their field. In turn, the award recipient focuses on sharing their knowledge and experience with children. Book Trust, the UK’s largest reading charity manages the award while Waterstone’s currently sponsors it and the website, found here, is brimming with wonderful activities and inspirational posts. You can even help select the next laureate by voting on their website!

I read this book at the beginning of the summer but I have returned to it again and again to page through and feel inspired by all of these artists’ and authors’ beautiful works. If you need an additional reason to check out this book (because, seriously, bound inspiration was enough for me,) a portion of proceeds from the purchase of this book will go towards continuing to fund this award.

Tell me, please! Do you have a book that inspires your creativity?


4 thoughts on “Flights of Fancy: Stories, Pictures and Inspiration from Ten Children’s Lauretes

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  1. I saw the picture and had to klick your post because whaddaya know, that illustration can only be by Sir Quentin Blake. I love his illustrations. I have a few books about writing too but nothing like this! It sounds marvellous! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it remarkable how recognizable his art is? There are large pictures of him working in the book that made me realize the scale he could work with and still be so very Sir Blake. I hope you get a chance to read it sometime!

      Liked by 1 person

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